"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mallory Cache Plundered

Mallory Cache Plundered Foul Play Feared

It was learned yesterday at approximately 22:00 GMT ( 4:00 pm local time), that the last known cache of Sir George Mallory ( 1886 – 1924 ) has been plundered.

A somewhat thorough investigation of the site found "no rum remaining . . ," the cache empty and devoid, much as the tomb robbers of ancient Egypt left the hallowed halls of their rulers.

Due to the serious, heinous and somewhat diabolical nature of the crime, the requisite 27 8X10 color glossy photos (with circles and arrows on the back) were forwarded to Ms Abby Sucito (of NCIS fame) for analysis.

Using the most advanced equipment available, Ms Scuito digitally enhanced, and removed the last snowfall from said photos. It was evident that four bicycles had recently visited the site (one with "skinny tyres"). Further, a small piece of glass with what appeared to be the letters:

"Du_ _ i."

A final, somewhat perplexing and worrisome clue: a small piece of what appears to be a diaper was found discarded nearby.

Investigators are focused on five, usual suspects: Kershaw, Farrow, Buffington, Ek (sp?) and Hendricks. Of the five most have solid alibis:

Buffington in jail

Ek (sp?) solidly in the "hurt tank"

Kershaw, at home preparing toboggan for young cute daughter

This leaves Hendricks and Farrow. It is well known that until recently, Hendricks was indeed a rider of "skinny tyres." This coupled with his known habit of tipping over whilst offroad may lead one to consider him the prime suspect.

However, when he had the chance to ride away to freedom at TUSCOBIA, he instead pulled out early, humiliated and humbled.

This leaves none-other-than Farrow, the wily Farrow who admits training with deer.

Authorities have pledged to keep Farrow under surveillance until further notice.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Does it count?

Sunday's goal: Four solo "road" hours. Goal achieved.

Roads a bit better than Saturday, until I passed the Zimmerman Road . . . Then I can only surmise that I was "on the road . . ." no real idea most of the time. About one mile up, a snow squall, nearly complete white out for the 20 minutes it took to ride two miles. Once on the
Normana Rd conditions improved. Of course this turn of events made me think: "Why not ride some of the HoTN course?" So off I went . . .

Keeping on the
Normana Rd I suddenly realized "there is a lot more snow up here! No, a lot more snow." It was beautiful . . . the squall abated, the wind at my back, all was right with the world. A brief stop at the North Shore Trail crossing: Gee . . . I can almost ride it!

Right turn onto the French River Road . . . Now the question becomes: If a gravel road is covered with 2+ inches of glaze ice, is it still a gravel road, or is it a 1)
Eis road 2) Ijs road 3) Glace road or even 4) Ghiaccio su stada?

The next two hours, 20 miles were at times sheer madness. I know the guy in the big yellow loader/snowplow thought I was nuts. Of course by this time I had no choice but to finish.
(I am of course still paying penance for my humbling experience at TUSCOBIA. Humbled by none other than Buffington, Farrow and assorted other characters. Never again shall that happen.)

At this stage, some three hours and 30+ miles into my day, seeing no dry pavement, riding on inches of ice: no real problem. Then . . . as I make a right turn from the West Tischer Rd onto the steep uphill of the Wabasha Rd . . . disaster strikes! The snow plow operators had thoughtfully laid down a layer of sand and ice melt. Once would only think that act would improve conditions: But no! My trusty Orange companion decides of her own accord to lay down!

So the question becomes: DOES IT COUNT as a fall when a bike falls (of its own volition) , while the lonesome rider stays completely upright? I say NO! (much like a tree falling in a forest, we know it makes no sound if there is no one to hear it)

I'm learning there is much to this winter biking idea. It is easy to overdress. I drink a lot more as I ride. Speeds are much slower than I ever anticipated. Muscles soreness unknown in the summer. Beautiful scenery.

Total for day: Four hours, 42 miles, full on effort . . .

Sunday, December 27, 2009

First real winter road ride

Had a great solo three hour ride yesterday out and about the icy roads of the rural Duluth landscape.

I know I was not alone, saw a set of tracks going out . . . and coming back. I can only wonder who it was!

BRAVO to the snow plow operators . . . all roads cleared! A heartfelt thank you for giving up much of your Christmas holiday.

I do wonder: Why on icy roads do so many of the motor vehicles tailgate? Seems kind of silly.

Looking forward to more of this! I hope the trails firm up soon . . .

I have lots to learn about winter riding. Even at age 53 I still remember my mom never letting me on my bike until all the snow and ice was gone . . . I wonder what she would think of this?

It's really fun climbing icy snow covered hills. I'm enjoying standing, loosing traction . . . and working to find just how to stand and pedal. Actually a lot more fun going uphill than down.

I'm really happy with a couple of things:

1) Lake winter riding shoes: These thing really do work as advertised! Money spent ($275): well worth it. It is a great feeling knowing I can be ready to ride without spending hours of time. I bought mine in size "wide," I think this is perfect, I can add a pair of liner socks, yet the boots feel as if they fit. Thanks to Lucky at The Ski Hut for the special order.

2) I'm using "Boot Gloves" instead of cycling shoe covers. They seem to work well. Since they are designed for downhill ski boots, they go on quickly.

3) Giro "Fuse" snowboard helmet. Really happy with this solution. The Fuse weighs only a couple ounces more than a cycling helmet, so weight is not an issue. Of great importance, the Fuse has vents that can be opened and closed (while riding). This is a great addition. I've taken the ear flaps off (too warm), but know I will be putting them back on soon.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

OK . . . This will be my first attempt at entering the age of the blog.

Why? Who knows, perhaps I will even wrote something clever, something of dubious note (then again, probably not)

I most certainly do not expect anyone of substance to read my writing, I know I wouldn't bother.